Picture of Grayscale

When The Ghosts Are Gone

Grayscale - When The Ghosts Are Gone ©2002 Sound Riot Records
1. The World Today
2. A Dead Season
3. Gray Singer
4. Squeeze
5. The Fire Inside Me
6. Absent
7. Shape In The Shadows
8. Cast Aside
9. When The Ghosts Are Gone

It's getting to the point where if one reads the words "gothic metal" as a description for a new band that one will toss said new band's CD into an unsaid garbage can. Grayscale is yet another new "gothic metal" band from Finland, which apparently is a land where many have morose feelings that require starting a moderately dark metal band that exclusively laments unhappy feelings. While the band's debut CD, When the Ghosts are Gone is definitely not wretched blubbering over tedious music, Grayscale also proves there are a lot of points of improvement that could be made in the future.

Right off the bat, anyone who is familiar with Lake of Tears will assume Grayscale built a vacation cottage right outside their lake. The styles are very similar with light keyboards, fluid guitar riffs, melodic vocals that don't range terribly far and a mildly dark atmosphere. This is akin to being "darned to heck", where you simply have to deal with insufficient light rather than plummetted into complete darkness. In other words, for gothic tinged metal, this is pretty light stuff for the subgenre. The one thing that stands out most for Grayscale is that vocalist Lasse Harma often sounds overwhelmed by his task and his approach sounds hesitant most of the time. His voice is not exactly blessed with the strongest of deliveries. Considering the production places his singing back a bit, it works for the sake of this album but if one concentrates too much on it, one will cringe just a bit. The band does have a good sense of writing fairly catchy songs with nice, flowing riffs. The Lake of Tears stone will of course weigh heavy around their necks if they don't make a major effort to forge their own identity in the future, though.

On a whole, When the Ghosts are Gone is an enjoyable debut, although somewhat faceless and featureless. I get the sense that with time and practice, this band could be a bit more of a standout in Finland, but it'll take determination from the band accomplish this.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2003

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